Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, is being put on the auction block. According to a number of media reports, a foreclosure auction of Intrawest assets that was set for Friday February 19th in New York, is now being put off until Friday February 26th.
Intrawest ULC, the resort’s operator, was purchased by Fortress Investment Group LLC in 2006 for $2.8 billion. Almost half of this is said to have been financed through borrowing from a group of lenders. Fortress has missed a repayment on some of this debt, and is trying to rearrange its financial affairs in an attempt to hold on to at least partial ownership of Intrawest’s eight resorts.
According to unnamed financial industry sources, major U.S. resort company Vail Resorts Inc., is said to be one of several firms bidding in the auction of Whistler Blackcomb. However, one firm that will not be bidding in the auction is Intrawest’s biggest domestic rival, Vancouver-based Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR.)
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will continue to go on as planned, and Intrawest’s other properties continue to run ‘business as usual.’